When you say Montalcino you think of wine. Better yet, of one of the best wines in the world. And among the estates that have contributed to create this legend of Italian eno-gastronomy is, surely, Castello Banfi, the historic manor of the property of the Mariani family, located 16 kilometers from the small city of Montalcino. The estate spreads out over 2,830 hectares of which 850 are cultivated to vineyard, while the rest is made up of olive groves, fruit trees and fields of grain.
In this context of "Tuscany DOC," starting this spring 2007 Castello Banfi is also offering the possibility of charming overnights. In the stone houses dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries alongside the walls of the castle, today transformed into a hospitality center, nine rooms and five suites were carved out for the Il Borgo resort. The restructuring was looked after by architect Marco Matteucci and the furnishings by interior designer Federico Forquet, best interpreting the traditional local style with unique ambiance and always different from each other; exposed tiles, terracotta floors, furniture in precious woods, complements in wrought iron, fine linens.
Taking cues from the typical regional flavors is the cuisine of Chef Guido Haverkock of Il Ristorante Castello Banfi, appearing only recently on the scene but already awarded a Michelin star. More informal is the atmosphere of the restaurant La Taverna, situated in the old winery, one time used for aging Brunello. Tastings of wine and extravergine olive oil are instead offered at Enoteca di Castello Banfi, boutique gourmet shop where one can purchase all the produce of the estate, including honey, cookies and artisan pasta, in addition to an excellent Salsa Balsamica Etrusca made here, aged 12 years in small casks. Who wishes to may broaden their knowledge of the fascinating world of Tuscan eno-gastronomy by taking part in the Wine and Cooking classes held on demand by expert sommeliers and the house chef, under the coordination of the exceptional Heinz Beck, or also reserve a Winery Tour.
Another gem of the resort is the Museum of Glass and Wine dedicated to Giovanni F. Mariani and placed in the former stables of the manor, which boasts one of the richest private collections of glass from the Imperial Roman era to present day.